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File No. 855.48/825b
The Secretary of State to the Minister in Belgium (Whitlock)
WASHINGTON, November 14, 1918, 7 p. m. 323. For Whitlock from Hoover:
Respect to your telegram No. 153 of 9th. There is every sympathy and desire here to assist the Belgians. Every priority has and will be given and the Government is now enlarging its assistance in food relief and clothing to a very remarkable degree considering the sacrifice in shipping that it entails. Assistance in tools and machinery can only be extended after we have accurate knowledge of what is required, a thing impossible until evacuation; and credits must be established to pay therefor which also must either be arranged through banks or new legislation by Congress. The President has asked me to take charge of organizing American interest in Belgian reconstruction and I will arrive in Brussels for consultation about December 10.
File No. 861.48/252
WASHINGTON, February 16, 1917. 261. At request of Joint Distribution Committee of Funds for Jewish War Sufferers, ascertain from Spanish Government whether Spanish Ambassador in Berlin will undertake to receive funds cabled to him for the purpose of purchasing foodstuffs for non-combatant inhabitants of Poland, and transmit same to local relief committees in Warsaw and Vilna. Until now Polish relief committees in United States have cabled funds through Warburg & Co., Hamburg. From Hamburg money was transferred to Berlin and placed to credit of committee of influential Jews. This committee has branches in Poland and distributes money in accordance with their requests. Branch committees are composed of subjects of Russian Poland. A new arrangement must now be made for transmitting money to the Polish relief committees. Central Berlin committee would give guarantees to Spanish Ambassador regarding proper distribution by local committees of the money in Poland.
File No. 861.48/255
MADRID, February 27, 1917, noon.
[Received 6 p. m.] 379. Department's 261, 16th. Foreign Office state Spanish Ambassador Berlin will receive funds from American Commission for Jewish War Sufferers in Poland. Ambassador suggests funds be transmitted as at present to Warburg & Co., Hamburg, who will remit to central committee, Berlin, against receipts. Spanish Ambassador adds that it will be impossible for either him or central committee to purchase foodstuffs in Germany.
File No. 861.48/448
The Secretary of State to the Treasurer of the Joint Distribution Committee of Funds for Jewish War Sufferers (Lehman)
WASHINGTON, April 21, 1917. Sir: The Department has been giving careful consideration to the question of continuing the relief work which is being carried on by your Committee among the Jews in that part of Russian Poland now occupied by the Germans, and has reached the conclusion that the method of sending this relief through the Spanish Ambassador in Berlin is not wholly desirable, and that a neutral committee should be formed in a neutral country with entirely new machinery for carrying on this work.
Realizing, however, the great suffering among the people to whom your Committee has been extending relief, the Department will raise no objection to the Spanish Ambassador here transmitting to the Spanish Ambassador in Berlin $100,000 to be distributed by the Spanish Ambassador in Berlin directly to the Russian committees in occupied Poland. In future, however, the relief funds should be transmitted through a committee in a neutral country, and I beg that you will take immediate steps to create this new machinery of distribution. I am [etc.]
For the Secretary of State:
File No. 861.48/292
Department of State (Polk)
[Received April 30.] MY DEAR MR. POLK: With reference to your enquiry as to whether relief is being sent from the United Kingdom to Russian Jews in enemy-occupied districts of Poland, and if so through what channel, I beg to advise you of the receipt of a telegram from London to the effect that His Majesty's Government have been compelled to discourage proposals to forward such relief, owing to the impossibility of insuring that it would reach the desired quarter. Believe me [etc.]
CECIL SPRING RICE
File No. 811.142/2097
WASHINGTON, May 11, 1917. 573. From Red Cross, for General Polish Relief Committee, Vevey:
American Red Cross has some funds for Polish relief. Can you distribute for benefit of Poles outside territory occupied by Germany? Can only send for this purpose.
File No. 861.48/297
BERNE, May 15, 1917.
[Received 10 p. m.] 913. Your 573, 11th. General Polish Relief Committee writes that Committee extends activity not only to Polish territory occupied by Germany and Austria but also to various districts in Russia in which are numerous Polish refugees, about one million persons, their needs enormous and daily growing. Committee sends funds to local committees composed of persons of confidence. To present date Committee has despatched to Russia over 938,000 francs. It is in constant communication with these committees and can send funds reserved by American Red Cross, of which funds it will render strict account. Expresses to Mr. Lansing hearty thanks for support by American Red Cross of objects of Committee.
File No. 861.48/300a
WASHINGTON, May 16, 1917, 4 p. m. 516. Please ascertain whether the Netherlands Government would be willing to cause limited distribution under active supervision of Dutch Consul at Warsaw of relief funds to destitute Russian and Polish Jews and Russian Poles in Russian Poland under German occupation. Since it is a matter of prime importance that the funds should not reach German hands nor those of her allies, a method of distribution would have to be devised which could be considered as a guarantee to that end. Should the proposal be favorably received, we should be glad to learn the views of the Consul in this regard.
File No. 861.48/306a
WASHINGTON, May 26, 1917, 4 p. m. 610. Please ascertain character and composition of the General Polish Relief Committee of Vevey, also Polish Committee at Lausanne, with special reference to the guarantees they can offer that relief monies reach only Russian Poles in occupied territories. Can you learn average monthly sums, if any, transmitted on behalf of French, British, or other contributors ?
File No. 861.48/308
[Received 4.50 p. m.] 956. My 927, May 22, 2 p. m.1 Confidential communication received from Minister for Foreign Affairs stating that Dutch Minister at Berlin has been asked to communicate with the Netherlands Consul at Warsaw regarding distribution of relief to Russians and Jews in occupied portion of Russian Poland, and to obtain assurances that German authorities will not interfere with distribution of funds by Consul.
* Not printed; see telegram of May 16 to the Chargé in the Netherlands, supra.
Minister adds that definite reply to proposal of the United States Government in the matter will probably be delayed owing to difficulty Dutch Government is experiencing in connection with recognition by German Government of division in districts under military occupation.
File No. 861.48/313
[Received June 13, 4 a. m.] 1025. Department's 610, May 26. Polish Relief Committee of Vevey highly commended by representative Poles of the three nationalities. Antoine Osuchowski, president of executive commission, informs me that the Committee will guarantee on its honor that American contributions will be employed exclusively for Poles in occupied territory who are Russian subjects. It thinks that supervision by neutral consul would be welcome and suggests Swiss Consul at Warsaw. No important Polish relief committee has been organized at Lausanne. Polish organization there has only political objects. Rockefeller Commission here is of the opinion that Vevey Committee is best qualified for distribution of American donations for Polish relief. Vevey Committee promises to inform me of average monthly sums transmitted on behalf of French and British and other contributors but has not as yet done so. Am forwarding by today's pouch financial reports issued by the Vevey Committee since its organization.
File No. 861.48/346a
WASHINGTON, June 15, 1917. DEAR MR. PADEREWSKI: The Department has received information which leads it to believe that the Polish Relief Committee of Vevey is to be highly commended and that it has the proper machinery to